So, I was thinking this week (here we go again...)
Something hit me. Something I didn't see coming and didn't even know was on the horizon. My self-righteous-all-about-me-sinful-self didn't see it.
She wasn't looking.
The ancient Spartans were do-ers. They DID horrible things like leave weak babies to die and they esteemed brute force as the only force to be reckoned with. Their neighbors, the Athenians...they esteemed culture. Pictures, books, and intellect. It was said of the Athenians that they "knew" all the right things but did not "do" them. They were hearers and not do-ers. Spartans? They were just plain mean. But no one ever accused them of not doing anything.
I do not wish to be like the barbaric Spartan. But the hedonistic, hypocritical Athenian? I don't want to be her either. It's time I took myself seriously.
I began to ask myself this question: Do I believe that my attitudes and actions will impact the long-term health, growth, and spiritual well-being of my children?
Well? Do I or don't I?
I saw a video this week about a woman who threw herself in front of an SUV. Her children were inside and heading towards a cliff. The car ran over her and she is now paralyzed from the waist down. But her body slowed them down just enough that the grandfather was able to jump inside and pull the emergency brake. Her sacrifice saved the lives of her children.
Do I believe that the sacrifices I make will save the lives of my children?
If I do...if I believe that being here, every day...washing feet and teaching grammar...if I believe these sacrifices to be life-changing, life-giving, life-saving...
Then I must stand tall and refuse the lies the enemy throws at me. I had better stop complaining and wallowing. I must learn to take the good with the bad and gives thanks for both.
Mothers make different kinds of sacrifices every day. Every. Single. Day. Somewhere, a mother spends her days in a wheelchair because of the sacrifice she chose. Me? I just get to spend ample time with precious souls. Hardly seems like sacrifice.
Why does it feel so sacrificial at times?
It has to be that I am selfish and self-absorbed. That I care more about my day and what I need than about those around me. God placed me here in a state of always-giving because He knows that giving must come harder for some of us than for others. For me? The ever-giving is what is maturing me (slowly.) I want to be her. The person Jesus is trying so desperately hard to make of me. A woman who gives. Gives freely and abundantly. Without reservation. Without self-seeking desires creeping up at every turn. I want to get out of the way and just be clay.
It's hard to be clay when you are a rock. Albeit, a teary, Athenian, book-loving rock. But a rock non-the-less.
I wrote to a friend today that I want to shove my selfish endeavors under a rock and sit and bask in the sun. Or the Son.
As another day winds down and my heart feels lightened by the words that burdened it all week, I pray for the strength and resolve to lay down my life joyfully. That I might live abundantly. And that I may walk in the knowledge that the sacrifices I make today will change the tomorrow of the souls with whom I've been entrusted.